Here are a few things to consider as you try to answer the question- do you need to hire a professional accountant to help with your tax prep and financial records?
1. What You Get
Accounting professionals will be able to assist you with issue such as budget planning, weekly and monthly book keeping and can help represent you in the case of an IRS audit. They can be costly upfront but for many the money is a good investment for the peace of mind and security it brings.
2. Do You Need One?
A certified public accountant (CPA) represents the cream of the crop when it comes to accountants and they are at the top of their game but they also command a hefty price for their services. If your budget is tight a general accountant or book keeper may be all you need to protect yourself and your business with good financial record keeping.
3. Get Referrals
Make sure you ask around to family and friends and business associates you trust. See who they may use as an accountant and f they can recommend people to look into or if they can warn you of the ones to stay away from.
4. Shop Around
It’s usually a good idea to visit several accountants or firms before making your decision. Going with the first one you find rarely works out and the one offering the lowest rates is not always the best option either so you really need to talk to at least 3-5 accountants before making a decision.
5. Check Up on Provided References
Ask the accountants you are considering working with for client references- especially any that are in the same industry of line of work you are in. Call the references yourself and talk to them to make sure the accountant is being honest and upfront with you.
6. How Responsive Are They?
Few things are as frustrating as trusting your money and financial security to someone who will not return calls, won’t answer emails, and misses deadlines and appointments. Make sure you choose an accountant who will treat you with respect.
7. Get Clear About Rates
Go over things with the accountant you want to work with and make sure you work out a contract in writing that covers your needs without breaking your budget.
Following these tips can help you make a wise chose if an accountant is something you need for your own financial security or for the security of your business.
The following was a post by Sarah Jo Lorenz-Coryell